Reviewed by Kini
Ellie Sanders is over the fairytale, thank you very much. Content with her booming career as a purveyor of Madame Butterfly pleasure aids, she doesn’t need a man for anything—except maybe marketing tips. And, okay, a few fun nights with something that doesn’t require batteries.
Love, marriage, and family aren’t in the cards for Tyler Hendrix. Period. The Navy helped Ty put his tumultuous childhood behind him, but when a sexy single mom walks through the First Impressions door looking to take her business to the next level, he feels his carefully constructed “never-get-attached” walls crack.
As Ty and Ellie maneuver through a minefield of wardrobe malfunctions, plumbing mishaps, and the world’s most awkward accidental dirty talk, discovering they have more in common than scorching sexual attraction threatens to crumble Ty’s walls for good…
I really enjoy comedic romance novels and I feel like the great ones are few and far between. I had hopes for this one, but sadly it fell short for me. I wanted a little more slapstick and ended up with some slightly stereotypical characters that didn’t feel fully formed to me.
The best thing about this book is the opening meet cute in which the hero, Ty, mistakes the heroine, Ellie, for a different work client. He thinks she runs a bowling accessory company and so there are many jokes and unrealized innuendo about balls and strokes. She runs a business where she sells pleasure aids, aka sex toys, so it takes a little while for them to realize they aren’t talking about the same thing. Ellie is a single mom so immediately Ty believes he can’t date her because he isn’t anyone that can be around kids. His internal dialogue refers to her single mother status a few times and I found it annoying.
Ellie is a single mom to her son, Henry, and his dad is not present. They were married but he left and Ellie is raising him on her own with the help of her brother. Her brother and his wife were a couple in a previous book, but this book reads fine as a stand alone. Anyway, another thing that I liked was that Ellie wasn’t living a glamorous life and had some struggles, she rented her house from her brother at a discount. Henry was mostly not a plot moppet. There are a few references to him previously battling Leukemia but it is mentioned as kind of a throwaway fact, which I found odd.
One thing that I found really irritating was during the first third of the book, Ellie hosts a party where she is selling the pleasure aids and the women in attendance were portrayed as over-sexed, horny women and I didn’t enjoy reading it. Especially because Ellie is portrayed as being sex-positive and a sex educator of sorts, to portray the women attending her party in this way felt offensive to me. They were ogling Ty, requesting he be shirtless and it just felt gross. Like pick a side, if your lead character is sex positive, why must you have these other female characters behave in such a manner. It was weird and off-putting and it probably swayed the way I felt about the rest of the book.
Anyway, Ellie and Ty have an attraction to each other and neither wants to get into a serious relationship. They have some chemistry, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by it, so they decide to do some casual sex. This was handled well, but we all know in romancelandia there is no such thing as no strings attached sex. There is always an attachment. There timeline from casual sex to more seemed to happen fairly quickly, but I guess it worked ok for them.
Ty struggles with his upbringing and lack of a solid father figure. This comes to haunt him and causes the big break up. It’s a fairly typical, you and your kid deserve more and better than me because I accidentally said curse words in front of the kid one time, break up. And there was not nearly enough grovel for my liking. Ellie let him off way too easy. Obviously they get their HEA and Ty realizes that he is not only a decent human, but fit to be around children.
All said, I didn’t really enjoy this book. There were a few other small issues that had to do with continuity and Ty’s relationship with his family that made me think I missed something, when really things were happening off page and being explained after the fact. The weird, oversexed ladies buying sex toys felt too easy. Almost all the things I highlighted were things I didn’t like, so I don’t even have quotes to share. The relationship between Ellie and Ty wasn’t completely horrible and his arc from being closed to love not was pretty decent, it was just all the other things that made me not enjoy this book.